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Queen Moremi: courageous queen of Ile-Ife

Queen Moremi lived in the 12th century, she hailed from Offa, she was married to Oranmiyan, heir of Ife and founding father of the Yoruba people, Oduduwa.

She was a courageous queen who contributed the victory of the Yoruba people against the neighboring communities.

Apart from being brave Moremi was a beautiful woman too, she used to entice the enemies and discover the strength of her nation’s enemies, at the time when the kingdom of Ile-Ife was involved in numerous wars and suffered numerous defeats, this made them to be slaves of other nations.

As a way to learn on how to defeat her enemies, Moremi gave up herself to be taken as slave by Igbo with the help of Esimirin. She married their ruler as his anointed queen. After learning the secrets of her new husband’s army tactics, she escaped to Ile-Ife and revealed this to Yoruba people. The Yorubas were then able to subdue them in battle.

She returned to her first husband, King Oranmiyan of Ife after the war, he immediately re-instated her as his queen. Moremi returned to Esimirin river to fulfill her pledge. The river demanded that she sacrifice her only son, Oluorogbo. She pleaded with god for less terrible offerings. But at the end Moremi had to pay the price. Moremi and entire kingdom was greatly grieved by her son loss. Yoruba people consoled Moremi by offering her to be their eternal child. This promise is kept until today.

The Edi Festival is said to have been started as way to commemorate the sacrifice the princes made for the Yorubaland people. Today some public places are named after her, such as the female residences at the University of Lagos and Obafemi Awolowo University.

After reading this, read about Queen Amina the worrior queen of Zazzau.

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